In the Sport of CrossFit, How Do You Measure Up? 

“CrossFit is for everybody.”

We say it all the time. The individualized nature of the sport, plus the endless options for modifications and substitutions, make our WODs accessible to anyone who’s up for the challenge.

But did you ever wonder if some athletes are more naturally suited to certain CrossFit staples? Not in terms of strength or muscle mass (people can, to a degree, change those characteristics), but height. Is CrossFit a short person’s game? Or do the long and lanky have a leg up on their littler peers?

To find answers, we went straight to the experts, a.k.a. the athletes at CrossFit 718.

In CrossFit, do you think tall people or short people have an overall advantage?

This is a tough one. Fundamentally, I feel that the superior athlete will always come out ahead, regardless of height. However, there are many core CrossFit movements and exercises that favor a shorter athlete. Olympic lifting – a much shorter bar path for an athlete who is 5’10” vs. an athlete who is 6’4″. For gymnastic movements (pull-ups, handstand push-ups, pistols, etc.), a shorter athlete has an advantage due to a lower center of gravity and shorter levers. – Sky Holden, 6’6”

I think 5’10 is the perfect height. Under or above have equal advantages and disadvantages. – Ernie Cappello, 5’7”

For which movements or WODs is your height an advantage?

This stumped me – I guess I would probably say I like Diane (21-15-9 reps of
deadlifts [225/155] and handstand push-ups)
– Michaela D’Onofrio, 5’3”

I always like walking lunges because I can cover a decent amount of ground in one stride. And, not that I’m a huge fan, but I can usually get through wall balls pretty quickly, as the ball doesn’t have too far to travel. – Jenessa Connor, 5’9”

Which movements might be a little easier if you were taller or shorter?

Pull-ups, pistols, deadlifts, squats, freakin’ burpees. – Sky Holden, 6’6”

Rope climbs. – Kenny Restrepo, 5’7”

Handstand push-ups if I were shorter. Running and rowing if I were taller. – Michaela D’Onofrio, 5’3”

If you were to challenge another athlete on the opposite end of the height chart, what WOD would you program?

8 handstand push-ups, 250m run, 8 power cleans, and one muscle-up. – Michaela D’Onofrio, 5’3”

3 RFT: 30 wall balls, 15 power cleans at 95#, 10 row calories, 5 box jump-overs. – Sky Holden, 6’6”

I would do something even like Cindy so it’s a fair fight. – Kenny Restrepo, 5’7”